法王新闻 | 2009年12月
地點：印度 菩提迦耶 德噶寺 Tergar Monastery
Today we will begin with discussing mistaken attitudes, or literally, “what is turned around the wrong way.”
第12偈 Verse 12 reads:
Stinginess and cunning, greed and sloth, And arrogance, attachment, hate, and pride
(“I’ve breeding, good looks, learning, youth, and power”)— Such traits are seen as enemies of good.
When people are stingy, they’re unable to give to others. They can’t give either the Dharma or material things, but must keep everything to themselves.
The next mistaken attitude is translated as “cunning” but actually it’s made up of two words. g.Yo means that you conceal your faults and sgyu means that you pretend to have qualities that you do not, so there are two ways of being cunning. “Sloth” refers to allowing ourselves to be carried away by laziness.
With pride, we think we’re something very special. We are puffed up, inflated with ourselves. We are one hundred percent certain that you are a wonderful person, even if we actually don’t have so many positive qualities. We are so stuffed with the idea of our self that there’s no space for anything else. Our mind is obese. We think that we are some high ranking VIP. Or we think we’re special because we have tons of money or years of learning. No matter what positive qualities we may have, it’s important not to come under the sway of pride.
Of the three poisons, attachment comes in two kinds: attachment to people and to material things. Then, even though we may have all that we need and more, we still have aversion and feel the need to compete with others. None of these mistaken attitudes are good for this life or the next. They steal away our positive qualities and so they are seen as “enemies of good.” None of them allow us to make good connections with others, which is another reason why we should discard them.
It’s a tradition in India and Tibet that great masters are very humble. They say things like, “I really don’t know very much.” “I haven’t studied a lot.” “I have no realization.” Now that the Dharma is spreading to the East and West, many masters are traveling and they still follow this tradition of humility. However, some people assume that the masters are actually telling the truth and take what they say at face value: “Well, if he doesn’t know, then there’s no need to take teaching from him.” They have not yet learned that this is an expression of humility. It is possible that someone could have false humility and harbor pride deep within. Such a person is not a true practitioner. So students have to understand this tradition of humility. When the teacher and students are of one mind, then something good can happen.
Real humility is felt deep inside. Even if we have many positive qualities, we understand how much more we have to learn. When we compare ourselves with others, we can see that what we know is like a drop of water in the ocean. We feel a natural humility when we see the great qualities we have yet to attain.
It is important for us to practice love and compassion, to the point that they become inexhaustible. From our heart we wish that living beings be free of suffering and find real happiness. We want to extinguish all the suffering of living beings and be their servant. To be able to do this well, we have to work on reducing our pride. But we should not do this by putting ourselves down. The Supreme Continuum (Uttaratantra Shastra) by Maitreya gives reasons why the Buddha taught about Buddha nature, (tathatagarbha). If we know that this essential nature of ours, (and that of all living beings), is basic goodness, the potential for full awakening, then we will not be discouraged or plagued by a sense of worthlessness. We should definitely not seek to diminish our pride by putting ourselves down because that will just make us feel hopeless. Instead, we can just think that there are many more qualities that we could attain and that now we are a small pond compared to the vast ocean of what is possible. This humble mind is what we need to develop.
Verse 13 concerns with being careful or conscientious.
Carefulness is the way to deathlessness, While carelessness is death, the Buddha taught.
And thus, so that your virtuous deeds may grow, Be careful, constantly and with respect.
We may have the name of a practitioner or call ourselves Buddhist but we may not really practice, so we are merely assuming these names. What we should do, however, is examine ourselves to see what is positive and negative. In this way, we should be the witness for ourselves. As it states in The Seven Points of Mind Training: “Of the two judges, rely on the first.” And the first is we ourselves.
This verse compares being careful and attentive to nectar. The word for nectar, or amrita, in Tibetan is made up of two syllables: Dud (Tib. bdud) refers to maras or demons, which actually refer to obstacles of various kinds, such as old age and sickness or the four traditional maras of the afflictions, fear of death, the aggregates, and worldly pleasures. And tsi (Tib. rTsi) here means “to get rid of.” So the word means that those who are able to recall the nectar of carefulness are able to eliminate obstacles. Such a person is a true Dharma practitioner. To avoid negative actions of body and speech, we look very carefully at our minds to make sure that a mara does not slip in, whether it is during or after a session of meditation.
This careful attentiveness is actually necessary for any kind of practice. When following the Vinaya, we need this carefulness and mindfulness, for example, in observing the five virtuous acts. In the Mahayana the mind is much more important than body and speech. We need to be aware and evaluate what is going on in our mind. This is even more true in the Vajrayana.
Verse 14 continues to speak of carefulness:
Those who formerly were careless
But then took heed are beautiful and fair,
As is the moon emerging from clouds,
Like Nanda, Angulimala, Darshaka, Udayana.
Here Nagarjuna speaks of first being corrupted by misdeeds and then purifying ourselves of them. This process is likened to the moon escaping from behind the clouds. It tells us that change is possible. The examples given are Ananda, who had strong attachment; Angulimala who killed hundreds; Darshaka who killed his mother, and Udayana who committed many negative actions.
So it is possible to purify even extremely negative actions, and this process happens through stages of purification. First we regret what we have done and see it as a real mistake. We make a confession in front of the Three Jewels or a lama; we vow not to do it again, and then we practice to purify it through reciting, for example, Vajrasattva’s mantra. What is most important is that we see what we have done as wrong. Fearing suffering, some people might still harbor some hesitation deep down inside and this will subvert the purification. So it is important to confess from our very depths. When we can do this, it brings us true joy and happiness.
We should not think, however, that we are all black inside. This would be an obstacle to our path of practice. If we reflect on our present and past lives, the fact that we have made mistakes is not at all surprising. From our numerous past lives, we are not arriving here perfectly white; there are faults that we have not discarded; it is due to our karma and our afflictions, we have taken our present birth. What we have done wrong in past lives might be huge compared to this life.
So it’s good to recognize what we have done wrong, but we should not feel totally discouraged and think that there’s nothing to be done. We can change by recognizing our faults and then confessing. And when we do this, it should be complete; we shouldn’t leave behind anything inside us. Confessing is like splitting an apple in half; we totally cut ourselves off from what is wrong. For example, Milarepa worked very hard on building the towers to purify killing so many people. We can look at this from two sides: from one side he was purifying his negative action, and from another side he was creating great joy.